by Natalie Sack
If the bullet had hit the fleshy part of his arm instead of his shoulder he would have enjoyed throwing baseballs with his future son and hearing his daughter giggle as he lifted her high overhead. Even things like painting the shutters once a year and weed whacking the chickweed/ragweed/poison oak tangle around the gazebo would have had an element of fun with the dull ache of a healed wound as a reminder of how lucky he was. But he’d been running before the shot, providing a constantly changing trajectory between peril and safety, the same way simple decisions do upon our everyday fates. And so the bullet went from his shoulder to his lung, shredding the delicate cells into lace before sightseeing its way to his liver. There’s no doubt the shot alone was incidental, no matter where it traveled, but the bullet’s coating — that damned silver, the mundane stuff of flatware and filigree — exacted it’s price. One more werewolf is subtracted from his American Dream.
Natalie Sack teaches yoga and writes short stories, novels and essays in a small, small suburb of Pittsburgh.